You're Fired! UK Apprentice final sees candidates creating new male fragrance

by Grant Osborne, 10th June, 2008

Wednesday night will see the finalists in the UK version of The Apprentice creating a new men's fragrance which they then have to launch to an audience which includes Roja Dove and execs from Estee Lauder and Givenchy. The winning finalist gets a job with Alan Sugar.

Viewers can join in the fun -- T-Enterprise, a bespoke software and game development business based in Glasgow, have created an online game, Eau de Sugar. In the game, Sugar is launching a new fragrance and players have one minute to design the complete packaging or they'll be fired.

UK visitor's can view the episode on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One, as well as for one week after on BBC iPlayer. Preview clips are available on the BBC website.

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    • Grant (article author) | 11th June 2008 21:21

      Anyone in the UK watching it? Helene's team are speaking with a perfumer from CPL Aromas at the moment - quite interesting stuff.

    • Grant (article author) | 11th June 2008 21:38

      Roja Dove is speaking highly of the 'Dual' fragrance concept

    • chayaruchama | 11th June 2008 23:44

      Oh Grant !

      I'm pea-green with viewer's lust/ envy ....!

      Alas, I'm depending on you to fill me in.

      We can't view this in Southie, the Irish Riviera...

      NOT even w/ satellite.

      [I love Roja; we had a magic moment- brief enough, but wonderful]

    • Sestra | 12th June 2008 09:01

      I have no doubt that Roja Dove is an expert authority on perfume. I have no doubt that he is a great perfumer even though I have yet to smell his creations. I have no doubt that he is quoted at regular intervals.

      However, he prefaced his comments to the assembled guests with 'I am the most quoted world authority on perfumes'. How does he know? Does he hire a company to trawl publications in search of his quotes (it can be done, so I'm told)? And from whence comes his title Professor of Perfume? Alan Sugar refered to him as a Professor in the programme, clearly much enamoured of having one on his panel of judges. Did RD have a doctorate before becoming a prof? Is he academically qualified in some area of research that led to a chair in Perfume Studies? Is he affiliated to any academic institution that has employed him in this capacity on the basis of his research? Or did he buy his title from a Mickey Mouse mail order company in the US?

      JD's talent for self-promotion should be enviable to the kind of noggin that ends up competing on The Apprentice, but to anyone else living on planet Earth it is all very risible. I can't take him nearly as seriously as he takes himself.

      I repeat that I do not doubt his perfumery expertise, so I don't need to be sold on that.

      Anyway - the two perfumes on offer, or more precisely the marketing of them, were astonishingly awful. One was based on the supposed glamour of gambling, very 1970s retro stuff called Roulette. One judge had to point out that gambling=debt=misery, so best not base your marketing on that. The other was based on an ordinary Joe Bloggs who saw himself in idle moments as a James Bond type. Again it had a very retro intro with two chaps engaged in martial arts combat reminiscent for Hai Karate, except I think one of the protagonists in the old HK advert was a woman. The bottle design turned out to be three times more expensive than the price of the juice. The teams had no clue about perfumes or the industry, and were stunned when an insider finally revealed that a high precentage of fragrances billed for men are actually bought by women for men. Aiming the advertising so directly at entrenched stereotypes of laddishness circa 1970 was pretty pointless. Except for good old Roja, who thought the Hai Karate rip-off that smelled like Angel was spot on.

      I've never watched The Apprentice all the way through before. Is it always as barking mad as this?

    • chayaruchama | 12th June 2008 11:14

      Sestra- I LOVE YOU !!!

      I never watched Le Donald- he makes me want to spit.

      But, from most accounts, the show WAS a madhouse.

      [I spent two hours with Roja- probably , about 12 years ago; he was unspoilt, then.

      It sounds like I would be greatly pained to see that dog -and -pony show....]

      Thanks for bringing me up to date...

    • Sestra | 12th June 2008 12:29

      Chaya dearest, in case you think I have a slightly jaundiced view of the proceedings, one of the project team on Dual, the Hai Karate/Angel rip-off, wanted to call the fragrance ' Girth' to suggest its appropriate manliness. And she was a woman.

      I wnder if this ends up on YouTube. If I can find a link to it anywhere I will post.

    • michaeld39 | 12th June 2008 12:55

      Yes, the final of the Apprentice was an absolute scream. In the early series the BBC promoted it as raising the profile of business skills etc, but I suspect that recent series have been produced by a subversive old-school socialist trying to expose 'global pricing leaders' and 'agile dynamic entrepreneurs' as blundering self-deluded egomaniacs. I'm a big fan.

      Having said that, the two contestants who had previously shown some level of common-sense and self-awareness decided that the concept of online gambling and bad 1970's soft-porn glam was the right vehicle to market their fragrance by numbers creation called 'Roulette'. Their advert, posters and presentation were jaw-droppingly awful.

      The two surly northerners though, taking all their ideas from everyone around them, produced a distinctive concept with a focused theme - Dual - the bottle that has a handy detachable kind of self decant system. This leant itself to allsorts of clever ideas on the duality of human nature, the work- leisure balance, night and daywear, the desire to be 'one of the lads' versus the desire to be with a foxy lady - and all set to a thumping Basement Jaxx soundtrack. Absolutely top stuff, (though the frag was a rip-off of A*Men).

      Of course I humbly offer this opinion, what with me not being the 'world's most quoted expert on perfume'. (Roger Dove - who may as well have worn an 'I am pompous' T-shirt - making a complete nong of himself).